Mayor Michael Nutter says he is in great pain after a quick-moving blaze tore through a southwest Philadelphia block overnight Saturday, killing four children and displacing 42 others.
Nutter described how he hoped the kids who perished in the fire -- twin sisters 4-year-old Maria Bowah and 4-year-old Marialla Bowah, 1-month-old Taj Jacque and 4-year-old Patrick Sanyeah -- did not suffer.
"I can only pray that their pain was not long and they did not truly feel and experience the intensity of this fire and flames," he said.
The blaze broke out around 2:45 a.m., sending neighbors running to a nearby fire station while others called 911. The 3-alarm fire spread to eight homes before firefighters were able to get it under control.
During the press conference, Nutter said he was not yet ready to address questions about what caused the fire and instead emphasized the need to support the families of those killed, as well as those displaced by the blaze.